I moved back to New York this weekend (yay!), thereby missing the Most Exciting Thing Ever to Happen in The Hague: Angelina Jolie’s visit to the ICC on Tuesday.
(Actually, I probably got out just in time. You know how it goes: First Angelina Jolie shows up, then the gay men, and before you know it, the place will be full of trust fund kids in ironic t-shirts. And I’ll be grumbling to anyone who will listen that I lived there before gentrification, back when it was real. Just war criminals and Dutch families, some of whom didn’t even speak English.)
Jolie stopped by on her way to Cannes to observe the trial of Thomas Lubanga. As we’ve discussed previously, Lubanga is charged with using child soldiers during Congo’s Ituri conflict. Prosecution of the use of child soldiers is of tremendous personal importance to Jolie, who is slowly assembling her own child army. Or she was there in her capacity as UNHCR goodwill ambassador. Whichever.
She sat in on proceedings in the Lubanga case and later met with ICC prosecutor/international man of mystery Luis Moreno-Ocampo. But OMG, while she was in the trial chamber, Lubanga totally looked directly at her! This was apparently significant enough that one media outlet titled their coverage “Angelina Jolie Faces Congo Warlord at Hague Trial.”
Jolie managed to bring it all back to the children, though, noting that Lubanga scared the crap out of her and imagining “how difficult it must be for all the brave young children who have come to testify against him.” Too bad she wasn’t on hand to point that out when the first witness for the prosecution freaked out and recanted his testimony after being subjected to Lubanga’s death stare for a couple of hours…